April 16, 2012

Making Active Connections

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

Active Learning now attracts the attention of educators around the world. Since it was described by Bonwell and Eison (1991) it has appeared in the form of Problem-based Learning, Project-based Learning, Peer Instruction, and many others. In essence, AL is the assertion that learning is deeper and longer-lasting when learners cognitively engage with the matter being studied. Put another way: students learn by doing and thinking about what they are doing.

A Community of Interest Focused on Active Learning

Over the past two years a growing “community of interest” has sprung up around Active Learning in Quebec. A number of workshops across the college network have sought to define the concept and address the challenge of doing it. The Active Learning Classroom has been the subject of several columns in Profweb as well as the inspiration for a number of personal accounts by teachers.

A Team Workstation in an Active Learning Classroom

A Team Workstation in an Active Learning Classroom

On June 4 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Champlain College in collaboration with La Vitrine Technologie-Éducation and the Entente Canada-Quebec will host the event Active Learning II: Making the Connections at the Sandman Hotel in Longueuil. This pedagogical Day is aimed at taking the next step: exploring the connections between Active Learning and some of the other important priorities of professional teaching. These include assessment, classroom management, learning environment, educational technology, and inclusive instructional design. Each of these domains raises interesting questions.

Studies in Active Learning

Active Learning may well be the opening chosen by many teachers to explore the wealth of pedagogical knowledge which has changed not only how teachers run their classrooms, but how students learn. Visit to read contributions from researchers in active learning, many of whom will not be unknown to readers of Profweb. The references accumulated on this site are intended to support educators who want to be Active Learning teachers or supporters.

The teacher's station in the Active Learning classroom at Champlain College's Saint-Lambert Campus

The teacher’s station in the Active Learning classroom at Champlain College’s Saint-Lambert Campus

Teachers in the Quebec College Network may find the topic called the Champlain Experience of particular interest. The story of how classrooms at the college’s Saint-Lambert campus were converted from a traditional layout to an Active Learning environment illustrates a practical, inexpensive way to foster Active Learning.

Active Learning II

The keynote speaker will be John Seely Brown and there will be a workshop by Robin Wright, as well as a collaborative activity in the afternoon. The event includes a poster session with wine and cheese at the end of the day. Lunch is provided.

Some Workstations Can Adjust to Accommodate Handicapped Students

Some Workstations Can Adjust to Accommodate Handicapped Students

For more information and to register, you may contact Jim Sparks, education advisor at Champlain College, at the following address: Registration is open to all, but space is limited. Take the opportunity to discuss educational technology, learning environments, assessment, classroom management and instructional design with experts and colleagues!

How do you see Active Learning concepts being used in your classroom?

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